Prisoner 11384.

As you die, you travel down the bright tunnel and then everything turns to black. That’s when you hear it:

“Greetings, Prisoner 11384. You have served your sentence. You are free to go.”

————————————————————————————————————————————–

She struggled to breathe, her numb hands gripping his. Her swollen tears derived of his pending grief. She watched him, it was undeniably unbearable to see him like this. Helpless, as she had always been, her world was crumbling just as it had begun reconstructing itself back again.

“You waited for me,” she murmured.

“Of course. I promised, didn’t I?” His pained expression. His trembling countenance. The dull of his eyes had ultimately killed her in the end, she was incapable of protecting him from the dark, and she had known all along.

“After all these years?”

“Always.” It was that one word that struck her the most. Always could never last long enough, she knew, and she had enjoyed her bittersweet entrapment. She had appeared from out of this world, believing she could abstain from all the countless insane minds, believing she could get out unharmed, in a nick of time. Even in the universe, time could never last long enough. No, she couldn’t bear to leave him, not after he had waited for so long.

Interlaced fingers. His blank eyes. His sentimental tears. His inaudible whispers. She holds him – heart in heart; blood pulsing, squeaking a bare thump, thump, thump.

“My dear,” she murmurs, “how I dreamed of our return. How I dreamed to reunite in this heaven with you. I fear that I must leave you a lingering in the rain. Please, don’t let your heart catch a cold once I disappear.”

She searched for consent, his touch, his arms around her, her gaze; halting. A phantom of a smile in the absent flicker of her eyes. Halting.

Mute screams, and in her bright tunnel, she travels onward, a sudden black, black world. She hears that voice again;

“Greetings, Prisoner 11384. You have served your sentence. You are free to go.”

 

First Snow Fall

‘I heard it’s lucky to kiss when the first snow falls.’

‘First snow? You know that it doesn’t snow in Chang An!’

‘If you love her, then chase her. Otherwise you will regret it in the end.’

I knew all too well.

I watched Han Jung Woong chase after the girl of his florets, so many winters had passed since then. Five, ten, fifteen winters flew by.

Chang An is the same as ever.

It is raining, the sky is sobbing.

I am reminded of him.

That evening, as I sit at our old playground, the first snow flutters gently to the ground.

I am reminded of him.

There is a pair of tiny footsteps in the snow.

I am reminded of him.

Chang An is the same as ever,

the snow missing a pair of boot imprints that have not yet returned.